Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Rhymes of Our Lives

There were moments where hip hop got quite dangerous for me.

Here's Pastor Troy with "No Mo Play in GA."

I'm a big fan of hip hop with meaning and thought.  But there are times I needed hip hop to be primal, rude, and downright belligerent.

My most fond memory of this track is during the first two years I attended college.  I was enrolled at East Carolina University at the time, a major North Carolina university in my hometown of Greenville.  One of the hubs of campus life was Mendenhall Student Center, the location of our bowling alley/pool hall, the campus radio station, and a movie theater.  It was actually a really nice place to be.

Every so often one of the African American fraternities or sororities on campus would throw parties in the Mendenhall basement, which was a large empty room with practically no chairs and no windows.  These parties were legendary.  Just about every black kid on campus would show up to these parties.  The music started at 10 p.m. and wouldn't stop until two in the morning and most of us would dance non-stop until the lights came on.  I've never sweated out more t-shirts in my life!

This cut by Pastor Troy was a particularly popular track played at these parties, and many in the room were quite excitable when this joint was played (including me).  If the d.j. wanted the crowd bouncing around like a bunch of maniacs, this song was the quickest way to make that happen.  There was one specific evening during which this song was played and I decided I was going to party toe-to-toe with the ECU football players that were in attendance.  Keep in mind, while I'm not a short guy (6' 1") I am quite a thin one (150 lbs).  And these football players are between 6' 4" and 6' 10" weighing anywhere between 260 and 350 lbs each.

As things are happening, I remember being surrounded by these enormous athletes and partying pretty hard.  Suddenly, as I jumped around in this wall of bodies, I felt myself bounce off of one of them during a moment of ascent.  As I reached an apex I bounced off another, then I ricocheted off of a third one on my way back to earth.  Needless to say, after pinballing around a group of 20-year-old giants, I felt it was time for a bit of rest.  I made my way to the perimeter of the room, away from the exuberant masses, and found a seat in an adjacent section of the Mendenhall basement.  For that night at least, I was ready to leave a little early.

That was a fun night.


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